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>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> tear down this wall. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come. chris: a problem with intelligence. the c.i.a. director should know the risks. didn't he know walls have ears and secrets have a sell-by date. why did take tray -- petraeus betray us. bill clinton has healed himself. and now politics mired in scandal. it's not just the family hurt but the rest of us. live longer, work longer. some propose to avoid the fiscal cliff would raise the age for social security and/or
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medicare and may work for some but how about the men and women whose backs, legs and heart can't wait two more years to retire? you want a 70-year-old flying the airplane? hi, i'm chris matthews. welcome to the show. with us today access tv dan rather, the bbc katty kay, "the new york times" jodi kantor and abc's sam donaldson. first up the petraeus story and it has us disturbed. washington is just as dumbfounded, torn between wonder at the dysfunction of our national security leaders and of course reluctant curiosity. dan, why does this same thing keep happening? it just happens, these powerful men, even as disciplined as petraeus. you know petraeus. >> i do know him and like him and think he's been a great patriot and public servant. but in answer to your question, i simply don't know. what we do know is it occurs, has occurred not just in our time and our country but all through difficult times. part of it is i think people
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who reach the pinnacle begin to think they can do things that other people can't do. they think i'm so high, nobody will ever find out about this. best i can do, unless you want to accept what my great grandmother used to say, there's simply no damn good. chris: we'll stop short with that but maybe you want to talk. >> i agree with dan but people in high positions, they're surrounded by yes men and are rarely contradicted and begin to think normal roles of behavior don't apply to them and they're above the law. opportunities arise because you're in that kind of position because people are attracted to people in positions of power. you don't go into the senior echelons of either politics or the military if you want a very quiet life. there's an addiction to adrenaline i think in those kinds of jobs, and having an affair, an illicit affair provides an adrenaline kick and
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it's a genuine hormonal response and if you're in those kinds of jobs, you're probably somebody who likes the flow. chris: let me ask you about this. here's a guy who is going to be a big part of the news for weeks ahead. general petraeus was not -- i don't want to say god-like but for years we heard republicans end and open every sentence whatever general petraeus says. i'm with him whatever he says. their judgment. >> it's the self-sabotage that's amazing. petraeus so brilliantly constructed his career. he was a great manager. and there's an image and here's a man who for decades did everything right, met the right people, made the right impressions, so to undo that with an extramarital affair with extra explicit emails sent which is something a junior c.i.a. officer would
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notexactlyagiven to do because it's easily compromiseed and that's the mystery. and the story i'm waiting to read, is we know the man on the surface but what about him could have caused himself to be the offer of his own undoing. >> -- chris: you can say it, don't write it, if you can grunt it, don't say it. there's ways to leave a trail. he was leaving a trail of crumbs behind him. >> burn all the blue dresses, that's for certain. look, you missed the point, i think, with all due respect. i love you all. we're the way we are because god made us this way and gave us the impulse, to procreate. there are other ways, too. we all have the impulse. how do we suppress it. henry kissinger says power is an aphrodisiac and president clinton left the presidency and explained monica to say, because i could. that's too easy. what will we do with franklin roosevelt. he was a good president and had
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an affair with lucy mercer and others. john kennedy, i happen to think he was a good president and history may agree, who knows. we can't count them. wayne hayes, ruger mills, gary hart and bill clinton. do we say well, if they do that, we have to dispense with them. they can't be in the public eye. chris: you be the judge. you're the president of the united states for 10 minutes and i bring to you the petraeus case. it hasn't gotten out yet but will get out and you know it will because there are people out there, an f.b.i. agent, c.i.a. agent and they can drop anything anywhere. will you keep him on? >> he's the c.i.a. director and blackmail and all the possibilities are there. could they blackmail bill clinton? chris: put out the word he had an affair but i'm keeping him. >> everybody makes their own judgment as to whether this is more important than that. chris: right. >> if you're asking me about the people i named in history, i think what they did for the country was more important than the other but you can disagree. chris: but were all kept secret at the time. >> except for bill clinton.
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in retrospect he say he was a good president and mr. was peace and prosperity under bill clinton. petraeus had to go for the reasons jodi pointed out. you're the head of the nation's spy agency leaving inappropriate emails, sexual emails on a g-mail account and for that reason alone he had to go. reckless. chris: is there a different attitude, we always hear these stories, and you hear of the great leaders, and you hear the stories of cars parked in front of the house. and miterand, following at the funeral was the mistress andily let daughter and they didn't care and felt he had been a leader of the country and what he did by his private life it was ok by his family it was ok by them. the europeans savaged d.m.k., the former head of the i.m.f.
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and he was nonconsensual and they didn't like that and most europeans would agree he had to go over this because of the position he held in society. i think they're right. i would agree with sam you make a distinction based on somebody's job and how compromised they would be by what they've done. chris: or let's go another place. this is a freefall of conversation. the europeans would have said bill clinton, the problem with the grand jury testimony, it gets so immeshed. >> our leaders have to succeed on the territory they live on, right? bill clinton didn't get a chance to be judged by the french rules of the game. chris: he was judged by tom delay. >> and what's so amazing is almost no one understood the rules better than petraeus and understood exactly the environment in which he was operating and yet he still turned out to be a very different person than who most of us thought he was. >> my friend dan jenkins once
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wrote a is a tire cal -- satiracal, the 10 stages of drunkenness, skip dinner and number seven, i'm invincible. but particularly men in power, by the way, we rarely if ever hear of any woman involved in this thing that's made public. but anyway, particularly with petraeus, lived in danger for a long time, lived with risk, and risk can be addictive. and the adventure, the risk and then because you're in a position feeling, i'm invincible, i'm invisible. it's a mirage but very easy to believe the higher you go. chris: i think it's called in the old days beer glasses. you can see through those lenses and don't see rationally. >> that raises another point why aren't there women in positions of power you hear this about. i think there's still, women are more attracted to men in
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positions of power and men aren't exactly attracted to women in positions of power. >> there are more women in power compared to men. >> i think women in positions of power tend to be seen as successful but not likable. and there is something there about our attraction levels to men and women in different positions of power that are different. >> and part of the questions about petraeus i think is whether this was an isolated incident, kind of cordoned off from the rest of who he is or whether there is something greater about him. the fact he treated his wife the way he did, does that reflect a flaw in character in judgment that was also carried out? chris: let's go to another terrain. everyone has a movie about this petraeus saga. the great maureen dowd wrote in "the times" this week it's a cross from "here to eternity." and i think of the picture of burt lancaster and deborah carr
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and then you have keeping up with the kardashians. my producers keep working on the idea it has something to do with "homeland." the great series on that swept the emmys. it's based on a cast of characters that are vulnerable to temptation and we know the real c.i.a. agent. carrie matheson gets romantically involved with a guy who is a stalker and an ex-marine who is a terrorist. here's ascene where the ex-c.i.a. director shows up at the door to fire her for having sex with the guy she's surveilling. >> david? >> sergeant buoy called me. >> what? >> he told me everything. >> i don't know what you mean. >> i think you do. come on. let's go inside. >> what? >> come on. >> ma'am? >> sir. >> excuse me. you admitted to being complicit
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in some kind of fling with you. but illegal surveillance, gary, the continuing harassment? >> that is a mischaracterization. >> your office at langley has been cleared as we speak and these gentlemen here are here to do the same. all those classified documents? >> don't, don't, don't.

The Chris Matthews Show
NBC November 18, 2012 11:00am-11:11am EST

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue

TOPIC FREQUENCY Bill Clinton 6, Us 4, Clinton 2, Petraeus 2, Petraeus Betray Us 1, Langley 1, Miterand 1, Satiracal 1, Washington 1, An F.b.i. 1, The Bbc Katty Kay 1, Ruger Mills 1, Abc 1, Gary 1, United States 1, Cal 1, Kissinger 1, Maureen Dowd 1, Gary Hart 1, Deborah Carr 1
Network NBC
Duration 00:11:37
Rating G
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 11/18/2012